SUMMER 2018 – NONFICTION


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You may be wondering which nonfiction class you should take. If you use the form above, we will be happy to advise you on the most appropriate class for your project and experience level. Keep in mind that Nonfiction I is generally for beginners who are interested in exploring personal narrative (memoir in short or long form) and/or non-personal narrative (creative nonfiction, journalism, art criticism, science writing, etc.). Nonfiction II is generally for writers who have taken Nonfiction I and would like to keep the freedom to write either form of narrative. Memoir I is for students who have decided they wish to write personal narrative (memoir or personal essay). Memoir II is generally for writers who have taken Memoir I and are in the early stages of a project (a memoir or collection of personal essays). Essay Writing is designed to produce inquisitive essays in which the primary focus is not personal experience. Mixed Levels classes welcome both level I and II students in the genre offered.


ONLINE CLASSES


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Enrollment limit: 8 students
New $200; Returning $175

Submission Support Group with Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Closed


Online
Saturdays
12:00-1:00 pm (Pacific)
July 7 to September 8 (with no class on July 21 or September 1)

The submission support group is back by popular demand! Participating writers will meet weekly to focus specifically on sending out their work for publication or other literary opportunities with Women Who Submit co-founder Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. There will be no written assignments beyond 1) prepare to submit, 2) submit, and 3) support the other people in the group as they submit. During your time together, you'll pool your knowledge of literary journals and magazines, agents, small presses, contests, and other calls for submission. The group will also discuss how to stand out in the slush pile and what makes for a successful query letter, book proposal, and residency application. The first two submission support groups have produced over a dozen acceptances or recognitions so far, including poetry, fiction, and photography publication, a nonfiction book contract, performance on a podcast, and honorable mention by Daniel Handler.

This group is open to writers of all genres and levels, as long as they are prepared to actively submit their work over the course of the term. The eight meetings will be held online in real time using the Zoom platform. We will contact you with details.


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Enrollment limit: 8 students
New $315; Returning $285
(Payment plan available for returning students.)

How to Compose & Publish a Prose Chapbook
with Chelsea Biondolillo

SOLD OUT


Online
Saturdays
10:00 am to 12:00 pm (Pacific)
July 28, 2018 to September 8, 2018 (with no class on August 11)

This six-week online workshop is designed for flash prose writers (fiction and nonfiction) who are ready to take the next step in their work—a completed manuscript. Students will start with an idea and end up with a finished draft of a chapbook of approximately 25 pages of flash prose. We will talk about what makes a collection feel cohesive and how we can explore themes via form and content experiments, while strategic mini-workshops will give writers the chance to check in with readers. Weekly assignments will guide participants through a first draft and then focus on techniques for organizing and revising. Assigned readings will illustrate a range of fiction and nonfiction solutions to the unique problem/opportunity that the chapbook constraint provides. In the last week of class, we will talk through places to submit your work, including contests and indie presses.

This class will meet online in real time using the Zoom platform. We will contact you with details.


LOS ANGELES SEMINARS


Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 new; $120 returning

One-Day Seminar: Name Your Shame—How to Tell the Story You’re Scared to Tell (and Why You Should) with Erica Garza

SOLD OUT


El Sereno
One Sunday
August 19, 2018
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Each of us has faced painful or humiliating experiences in our lives and writing can be a therapeutic act for both the writer and the reader. Sandra Cisneros said, "I tell my younger writers not to write about the things that you remember, but the things that you wish you could forget." What if our greatest story lies in the memories and secrets we’ve kept buried for so long?

In this seminar, we will read and discuss excerpts from memoirs about painful experiences, as well as complete writing exercises in which we’ll approach sensitive topics in our own lives. Integrating techniques from narrative therapy in a safe and non-judgmental space, students will build confidence in writing about delicate subjects and potentially find resolutions not seen before.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in El Sereno where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served. If you would like to join a waitlist for this seminar, please email us at info@writingworkshopsla.com.


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Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 new; $120 returning

One-Day Seminar: How to Look—Finding the Descriptive Details You Need for Your Narrative with Lynell George

SOLD OUT


Los Feliz
One Saturday
August 25, 2018
1:00 to 5:00 pm

The stories that often stay with us longest sink us into distinct territory; they allow us to not just see the characters and their environs, but to carry them within, as if the experience is a memory of one's own. Precise, careful, and vivid details lift the very best journalism and creative nonfiction off the page. Too often, however, details can become distraction or can bog narratives down. Sometimes, too, a reader can discern a detail as afterthought—something sketched-in hastily simply to add "color." These imprecise descriptors tell us little or nothing of the character or add little to sense of place, but more critically, they work against your storytelling.

This one-day seminar will help you as a writer begin to look at and for details that will serve your narrative, those components that will add another layer to your narrative by honing all of your senses to produce indelible stories. During the seminar, we will read and discuss selections crafted by writers who have mastered the art of observation, who know how to select the telling detail, and we will test our powers of visual storytelling by creating vignettes that rely on our powers of seeing/looking. This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Los Feliz where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

If you would like to join a waitlist for How to Look, please email us at info@writingworkshopsla.com.


LOS ANGELES WORKSHOPS


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Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Flash! Workshop with Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake

Closed


Thursdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 19, 2018 to September 6, 2018

Flash is the shortest of short-form narrative—shorter even than a short story, sometimes as short as a single sentence. But just because it's short doesn't mean it's easy! Flash demands a writer use all the elements of storytelling (character, setting, plot, etc.) in a way that's distilled down to its most sudden, urgent, and evocative form.

Flash, says Amy Hempel, is "like most ordinary short stories—only more so." How can we make our own stories "more so"? During this eight-week workshop, we'll read diverse examples of minimalist storytelling (fiction and creative nonfiction) and write many of our own. We'll create and share work every week, and along the way, we'll experiment with techniques to make our flash "flashier."

This workshop is open to experienced writers and enthusiastic, serious beginners. The class will take place in Silver Lake, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.


Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Nonfiction I—Personal Essay and Memoir
with Elizabeth L. Silver in Encino/Sherman Oaks

Closed


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 18, 2018 to September 12, 2018 (with no class on August 8)

In this eight-week course, students will read, discuss, and write essays (or chapters) that will explore the genre(s) of personal narrative and memoir. The readings will be selected to stimulate thinking, exemplify different techniques and styles, and suggest techniques for engaging personal and creative expression. There will be in-class and homework exercises that address topics such as persona, audience, story, description, memory and truth, and ethical considerations specific to the genre. Students will have the chance to workshop their writing in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class.

Nonfiction I is also open to more experienced writers who want to brush up on the basics or try their hand at a new nonfiction form. This class will take place in Encino near Sherman Oaks, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.


Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Nonfiction II with Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake

SOLD OUT


Tuesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 17, 2018 to September 4, 2018

This eight-week intermediate level course is designed for writers who have a clear idea of the persona, audience, and purpose driving their work, whether personal essay, memoir, or other forms of creative nonfiction. Our main goal will be to bring projects toward completion through a process of feedback and revision in a challenging but supportive environment. There will be assigned craft readings and suggested exercises that will help students develop their projects. Writers will have the opportunity to submit work for feedback from the instructor and other students twice. 

This class will take place in Silver Lake, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

If you would like to join a waitlist for Nonfiction II, please email us at info@writingworkshopsla.com.


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Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Mixed Levels Memoir with Seth Fischer in Miracle Mile

SOLD OUT


Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 11, 2018 to August 29, 2018

This eight-week workshop will introduce writers to the essentials of the memoir, both short- and long-form. We will explore all the fiction techniques that bring memoir to life—dialogue, setting, characterization—as well as those aspects of recollection and reflection that make it such an engaging and moving genre. Assigned readings will demonstrate how effective memoir writers create compelling personal experiences on the page, and rigorous discussion of student work will aim for fully realized autobiographical prose. This class is also open to more experienced memoirists who are in the ongoing process of honing their craft.

This class will take place in Miracle Mile, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

If you would like to join a waitlist for Mixed Levels Memoir, please email us at info@writingworkshopsla.com.


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Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Westside Nonfiction with Lisa Fetchko

Closed


Mar Vista
Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 11, 2018 to August 29, 2018

For the past few decades, we have been living in a golden age of nonfiction—there are more ways than ever to work in this incredibly versatile genre. During this eight-week mixed-level nonfiction course, we will explore several important strands of nonfiction: the personal essay, New Journalism, creative nonfiction, and the lyric essay. With short writing exercises, field research, and an in-depth look at craft—especially narrative voice, structure, and the “carnality” (as Mary Karr puts it) of detail—students will try their hands at one or more of these genres (other genres are welcome as well). Each student will have the opportunity to workshop two pieces (or two versions of the same piece as long as edits are substantial). There will be a strong focus on the challenges and rewards of editing, especially for students who aren’t new to nonfiction.

This class will take place in Mar Vista, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.